Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mrs. Hainey and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!  It all started with a sore throat.  I was on day two of a sore throat and day two was much worse than day one!  After waking up to a sore throat I learned that it was going to be a very rainy day.  Rainy days are my least favorite because there is no recess on rainy days!  I was truly dreading going into work, but I decided that I'd just have to get through the day.  As it turns out, I should have stayed home!  This was by far the worst teaching day I've had to date!

I picked up my kids from breakfast at 7:30.  About half of my students are zoned for another school and take a shuttle bus to my building.  The shuttle bus always arrives late and therefore, I only had about half of my class when I picked them up.  I brought the kids into my room and they began the normal routine of unpacking, signing in, getting on the computers, and looking at books.  Well, the rain must have impacted the brains of my students because they appeared to have completely forgotten how to behave and look at books.  I told them to pick up the books and put them away.  I was upset at their behavior and told them to just sit quietly for a few minutes until the rest of our class got there.  While they were sitting there doing absolutely nothing one of my evaluation team members came in to observe me!  Since it's my second year teaching I have to go through evaluations in order to earn my permanent certification.  So, I was feeling kinda nervous, and I was getting hot.  I quickly began a rhythm activity and the rest of my students finally came into the classroom.  As my kids came in, I noticed a child that I didn't recognize.  As it turns out, it was my quintuplet's brother!  He decided to take the shuttle bus from his zoned school and spend the morning at our school!  I wasn't quite sure how to handle the situation because I was being evaluated!  So, I asked my assistant to please call his mother.  While she went and called the child's mother I began my morning activities.

My students acted as if they had never been in school before!  They were bouncing around, talking to each other, hitting one another, and crawling around.  In the mean time my evaluator is sitting in the back of the room writing away!  On top of that, I still didn't feel well!  All that singing and dancing about killed me! One of my students had a tantrum and when my assistant came back to our activities she was less than helpful!  Apparently she could not get in touch with the mother of the stow away!  Finally we transitioned into small group time.  The child having the tantrum continued to misbehave during small group, but everyone else did just fine.

Thank goodness the evaluator left immediately after small group time.  I was able to call the school the stow away was zoned for and let them know the situation.  They said they'd call me back.  They never did call me back and I very shortly found out why.  The extra kid was fine during morning activities, small group, and center time.  When it was time to clean up, I learned that this child was less than charming!  All of the sudden he became very difficult and disobedient!  I asked him why he came on the bus to our school and he gave me one of those smiles kids give when they are about to lie.  He said " My mom told me to".  I said "No, she didn't". He replied by scowling and saying "BECAUSE MY TEACHER ALWAYS GIVES ME SAD FACES!"  I decided it was time to take that child to the office.  I have my own naughty children to deal with and I didn't need to deal with anymore!

Things calmed down a bit after lunch.  We watched a few stories online and took an extended rest.  During rest time I went to a meeting.  I was telling my team members about these really cute crafts I ordered for my kids to do after our trip to the farm.  I was so excited about them.  I was even more excited after the meeting when I found out that my package had been delivered!  I picked up the package and took it to my room.  I couldn't wait to open it!  After opening it I quickly realized that the adorable craft I had ordered was not in the box.  I checked the paperwork and not only did it say that the craft was indeed in the box, I was also charged for it.  I wasted no time contacting an unfriendly customer service representative.  She informed me that they were out of stock and that's why the item was not in my box.  I was really upset, but she credited my account (which shouldn't have been charged in the first place).  I was so mad that I threatened to return the rest of my items.   She replied by letting me know that I'd need a special permission code and that I'd have to pay for shipping!  I was having a bad day.

My students continued to act as if they had never been to school and they drove me nuts for the rest of the day.  Needless to say, my throat took a beating!  Just as the clock was about to strike two one of my lovely students decided to scratch another student on the face!  His face was bleeding!  I had to take him to the nurse.  I was so close to the end of the day, but they day found one more thing to throw at me!

Thankfully, when I got home my husband was fairly understanding with me and only upset me a couple of times!  I really love that guy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Biters, Quintuplets, and Stress, OH MY!

A lot has happened in the past month!  I am still loving my students more and more every day!  I am up to 18 students and will have my 19th on Monday.  My kiddos are getting better and better at following the rules, and they basically know the daily routine.  Going from kindergarten to pre-k has been a difficult adjustment, but it's getting easier.

In pre-k there is a lot of tattling, pushing, hitting, kicking, spitting, talking, and all around selfishness.  I hear a lot of "I'm not your friend anymore," and "He's being mean," and "I'm telling on you!"  All of these things are pretty normal for a typical 4 year old.  At least once a day somebody knocks over someone else's block structure, or struggles over a desired toy.  I can handle all of those problems with ease.  What I cannot wrap my head around is biting!  YES BITING!  At 4 years old I figured most kids are out of the biting phase but as luck would have it, I have been blessed with a child who is not!  This child I am speaking about, MB, is my most challenging student.  He is usually the culprit when someone is pushed, kicked, hit, or any other number of naughty things.  One day out of the blue, MB walked up to another student and without warning BIT HIM ON THE SHOULDER!  Thank god he bit the child through the clothes because this boy had a nice quarter sized bite mark on him!  I was unsure of how I was supposed to handle this situation, but I knew I had to remove him from my classroom.  Not only was I really angry that he did that, but I also needed to get him away from my other kids.  My dilemma was that MB didn't appear to be angry or upset when he bit him and therefore I had no idea why he bit the child.  Also, I wasn't entirely sure what a developmentally appropriate punishment would be.  So, unfortunately I took him to the main office where I ran into someone in charge.  I will not disclose this person because who knows who's reading this!  The person in charge looked at me as if I was crazy and as if to say "What do you want me to do about it?"  This person didn't even think it was necessary to take the bitten child to the nurse for documentation.  I was beyond angry and took the child to the nurse anyways.  The nurse agreed that the situation was serious enough to warrant being looked at and documented.  I decided that day that I would no longer take MB to the office for behavior.

Even though I had made the decision not to take MB to the office again, my decision was not kept.  About a week after the biting incident MB was tantruming  because he didn't want to go to time out.  He had been particularly naughty that day and I had had enough.  While he was tantruming and refusing to go to time out he wrapped his little legs and arms around my right leg.  I proceeded to walk towards the time out chair when all of the sudden I felt a pain right below my butt.  I stopped and looked at him with my eyes wide and my mouth hanging opened and said " Did you just bite me?"  I could not believe he had done that!  I picked him up SO fast and marched right back down to the office.  Thankfully there was another person of authority in the office this time who takes biting very seriously and the child was removed from my room for the remainder of the school day.  Unfortunately the child was suspended which I didn't think was appropriate at all! 

I could go on and on about the biting, but to wrap it up, he had one more incident with biting a few days after the leg/butt bite and was suspended once again.  We had a meeting about his behavior and hopefully we will find a way to help him.

This post is getting longer than I anticipated, but I must write about my newest student.  He is adorable, and very active, and very sweet, and he is a quintuplet!  All five quints are boys, they have an older brother who is only 8 months older than them, and another brother several years older than them!  He has been a bit of a handful, but he is very bright and I think once he settles in, he'll be alright.

Finally, this job has been very stressful.  I have done paperwork, and trainings, and meetings and learned a new program, and I am tired!  Not to mention I don't always have the help I need.  I cannot go into more details on the last part because again, I have no idea who is reading this.  I feel like I never get through everything I have to do because I do not get a break, and I'm always being pulled for meetings, although the meetings have calmed down in the last two weeks or so.  I am also going through my evaluation this year and that is also very stressful!

On the positive side, I won a contest through Sonic (thanks to several people who spent hours typing in codes and voting for me) and I have an incubator and will be getting fertile duck eggs for my classroom!  WOOHOO!  Also thanks to the people who donated to my project before I won the contest.

I love my job and I hope I never burn out!  I have to always remember why I am there and how many children I am impacting by staying positive.